OneDrive and MS Office

Did you know that you do not need to have MS Office on your computer?

There’s a FREE version ONLINE with your Microsoft account. You only need to have a Microsoft account (a email address) and have installed OneDrive on your Mac (free). If you don’t have a Microsoft account, you can create one at the time that you download the OneDrive app. 

With OneDrive you get 15GB of free storage space online. That’s 10GB more than iCloud. You can add the OneDrive app to your iOS devices. You are not limited to just documents in OneDrive. Anything is allowed. You can share a link to a file or folder with anyone. Do you have a short video you want to share on Facebook? That and more can be done.

All the documents that you have in OneDrive (presuming that they are MS Office or compatible documents) can be accessed with the online version of MS Office.

Here’s how:

  1. On your Mac, click on the OneDrive icon in the Menu Bar. You’ll find it on the right side.  
  2. Then click on the gear in the upper left of the drop down window.
  3. In the new drop down window, click on “View online”
  4. Safari (or your default browser) opens a window with all your OneDrive documents showing.
  5. Double-click on the document you want to open. It will open with Word or Excel or PowerPoint as appropriate.

So if you already have a Mac version of MS Office and you are asked to pay for an update to MS Word, you really don’t need to. In fact, you can delete the MS Office apps without fear of losing anything - as long as you have OneDrive.

There is a downside - or course. The online version of Word and Excel do not have *all* the features of the paid for version. You probably won’t even miss them.

There’s a *free* app that you can install on your Mac that does everything that MS Office does - almost. I’m sure you have heard of it: OpenOffice. You can save your OpenOffice documents ( the default extensions are .odt for Writer and .ods for Calc) as MS Office documents (the defaults are .docx for Word and .xlsx for Excel) and they will open up with the online version of Word and Excel. One word of caution here: not all features of MS Office are available in OpenOffice, and some formatting and styles may change in the conversion.

But anyway, with the online version of MS Office, I really can’t see why anyone would need anything else. You can unlock more features of the online version of MS Office by paying a nominal monthly fee. You need to be a real power user to need to do that.

John Carter